Spinach Herb Pasta
I first whipped up this pasta as soon as we had an almost 100ºF day the last week of May. With record-setting temperatures and our AC unit on the fritz at my job and at home, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in front of a hot stove again all afternoon when I got home from work. The struggle is too real down here in Charleston when the heat kicks into high gear.
During a busy workweek, this pasta salad is a great way to sneak vegetables in for picky eaters while being easy to make and not needing to fuss over a lot of pots and pans. All you need is a food processor or blender, a large mixing bowl, and a pot of cooked pasta. Zesty and creamy, this sauce will be in your cooking rotation in no time! Let’s get cooking!
Spinach Herb Pasta
Cook time: 20 minutes
1/2 bag shaved Brussels sprouts
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 shallots, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, whole
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 bunch parsley, stemmed
1/2 bunch basil, stemmed
1/2 bunch dill, stemmed
2-3 large handfuls baby spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 box ditalini pasta (or any small noodle), cooked
Get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta to cook it according to package instructions. You don’t have to use ditalini if you can’t find it, so any small-shaped noodle will work, like orzo, fusilli, mini penne, or farfalle; just make sure it’s got little nooks and crannies for the sauce to get soaked up in. That’s key!
In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl, add the shaved brussels sprouts and drained and rinsed cannellini beans. Set aside.
Next, in a food processor or blender, add the chopped shallots, garlic cloves, lemon zest, and juice and pulse together until it forms a paste. Then, add the parsley leaves, basil leaves, and dill to the mix and pulse them up with the shallots and garlic. It should look similar to sofrito or pesto.
Next, add the baby spinach and the olive oil and blend until smooth. Once that’s done, add the sour cream, kosher salt, black pepper, and grated parmesan. Blend together until you have a consistent sauce.
Once you have the sauce made, pour it into the bowl with the shaved brussels sprouts and the beans. Toss together to coat the vegetables. When the pasta is done cooking, drain, and set aside 1 cup of pasta water.
Add the warm pasta to the sauce and vegetable mixture and stir well. Then, add a little pasta water to thin out the sauce if you prefer. This is optional but it depends on how saucy you want the pasta to be. I used about 1/2 cup of pasta water to thin it out a bit. Always start with a small amount and work your way up. You can’t remove all of the pasta water once you add it, right?
You can serve the pasta warm or cold and it pairs well with seafood or chicken. Even solo, this would be a great side dish to bring to a dinner party or cookout. When I made this pasta, I had it with a brown butter seared filet of black grouper and it was insanely delicious. Sautéed shrimp would be awesome to fold in as well! The leftovers keep for up to four days and can easily be made as a meal prep option for those of you who like to cook ahead of time for the week!